The Whistler.

I catch a noise before I sleep

The whistlers skulk about

Spreading fear skin deep.

Chirruping secret calls,

Hiding behind garden walls.

Disturbing young girls dreams

I wake with terrifying screams.


I pull a quilt over my head,

Hide a torch beneath the bed.

Prepare to fight for my life

I take Mum’s vegetable knife.

It’s old and blunt, bent a bit

She stabs at spuds in the pot

To ascertain if they are hot.


Armed, I squeeze Emma tight,

Her yellow suit warm and bright

She comforts me as I hum

a lulluby learned from Mum.

Doll and me are doing fine

Until music starts keeping time.


Through the crack, behind the bed

I hear the tune, inside my head,

Sweet and soft hardly heard.

Matching me word for word.

Spuriously stuffing notes in a sack

My sleep is wrestled into the black.


Sheets tangle around my legs,

Like on a line round Mummy’s pegs.

I can’t escape, I scream at last,

Sodden sheets and whitened mask.

Tapping her foot beside my bed

Mummy glares, shakes her head.

washed and clean no longer soiled

Tea is made

Once the

whistling kettle’s



© 2017, Ellen Best. All rights reserved.
The author has granted, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Author Notes

9 Comments for “The Whistler.”

reigny dai


The picture drew me in (it looks like something from Stranger Things). The flow kept me reading. The same noise can be heard during the day as at night, but at night, it sparks totally different feelings and thoughts, even for adults.


The pic came from pixby a free site. I remember thinking my parents whispered voices (trying to not wake four girls) sounded ghostly and scary, my imagination kicked in early. Thanks for reading.

Karen Holt


Hi Ellen, I loved the building tension. I really like the tangled sheets like on a line round mummy’s pegs. – mummies is more than one mum? The whistling kettle creeping into the dream, and becoming part of the fabric of imagination, is what I understood this to be. We can make monsters out of shadows, and noises are just as easy to feel creeped out by… scary picture banner by the way… Yikes.


Hi Karen, I hadn’t noticed the spelling as it isn’t spelt that way in word … creepy or predictive text? We may never know. Thank you for reading and seeing it for what it is. Happy Halloween!

Raymond Tobaygo


Good morning, Ellen

Excellent rhyme. One feels the building fear within the young girl’s mind (imagination), how helpless she feels only to realize it had been a bad dream. Enjoyed.

Take care and stay safe,


Craig Lincoln


A lot of images here Ellen a very descriptive piece but I got a bit lost I’m afraid.


Please don’t worry Craig, it is difficult to write the area of wakefulness and spot where the nightmare starts. If people/children could see where it began they surely would wake themselves up. She took her doll (Emma) to bed, held partially for comfort and her grip on reality. Thanks Craig I will try reading from the outside to see if I can improve it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *